Exploring Prayer With
By Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
Chapter 10 — God Often Answers Before We Pray
Isaiah 65:24, "And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear."
One thing must always be kept in mind by the believer, and that is that God always WANTS to give us things.
Luke 11:13, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Sometimes He has a hard time waiting to give us things, and gives them to us even before we pray.
Psalm 37:4, "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Here He mentions giving us things, but prayer is not mentioned. Jeremiah 33:3, "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." Here He promises to give us things we don't even know about. Not only will He give us the things for which we pray, but He gives us things that "thou knowest not."
Psalm 81:10, " I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it." God promises to fill our mouths if we will open them wide. Once again, nothing is said about prayer. Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Here we have God giving us things, and yet prayer is not mentioned. The same is true in Philippians 4:19, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
This does not mean that a Christian who never prays can get many things from God before he asks. It does mean that the Christian who prays regularly will sometimes get things from God before he asks. Notice again Isaiah 65:24, "And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear."
Sometimes it is hard for a parent to wait until the child asks. This is why dad will buy his two-week-old son a football or an electric train. He has not bought these gifts because the son asked for them; he bought them because he knew someday the son would want them and would ask, and it was such a delight for dad to provide these things for the son that he had a hard time waiting! Since God chooses to call us children and to call Himself our Father, perhaps He feels the same way about us!
Did you ever buy a gift for someone and couldn't wait to give it to that person? Maybe it was a Christmas gift, but you were so excited about the gift you gave it before Christmas. Could it be that God gets so excited about what He is going to give us that He sometimes gives it to us early, even before we ask? This is because He loves us, and He loves to see us happy. If we are rightly related with Him, He oftentimes does not want to wait to see our faces when we receive what He has for us.
I heard of a wife who made herself a little note to remind herself to ask her husband for something. She did not give him the note, nor did she ask, but he discovered the note around the house. Before she got around to asking him, he purchased the item which she wanted and gave it to her! Did you ever make a note to ask God for something? God looked over your shoulder and saw you make the note! He knows you love Him; He knows you are close to Him; He knows you are serving Him; He knows you are abiding in Him; He knows that His Word is abiding in you, so the Heavenly Father, knowing that you are going to ask Him, goes ahead and answers before you ask. How sweet and how precious is this relationship that God has for those who love Him!
There are times when I just think in my mind about something for which I want to ask God. Since God knows my thoughts, He knows I am thinking it and He wants to surprise me. Of course, this is only possible when the child of God is living in a sweet, close relationship with His Heavenly Father.
I watch for the desires of those whom I love, so do you. Then would not the great heart of God be watching carefully for the desires of those whom He loves and those who are very close to Him? Of course, He does, and like earthly parents, He wants to give good things to us. Luke 11:13, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" Oh, yes, the normal and usual way for God to supply our needs and to satisfy our wants is to answer our prayers, but loving us as He does and being our Heavenly Father, He occasionally wants to surprise those who live especially close to Him by answering before the prayer is spoken.
The oil that keeps us warm from the wintry blast was planned and prepared for us centuries ago. The coal that is stoked in the furnace has been centuries in preparation. When a baby is born, God has long been preparing the breast of his dear mother, and just a few moments after childbirth God begins preparing milk from the mother's body to be given as food for the newborn babe. He also tickles the lips of the baby instantly as they begin to pucker to prepare for God's miracle of provision. God loves us! He is gracious in answering us WHEN we call; He is infinitely more gracious in answering us oftentimes BEFORE we call!
Have you ever gotten a desired item before you prayed for it, but wished you had prayed first so you could have given God the credit and added another illustration of answered prayer to your growing list? Sometimes we take credit for being a great person of prayer instead of giving God the credit as a great answerer, so occasionally God will just show us where it really comes from and give it to us before we pray in order that He might receive the glory, the praise and the honor!
How tender is our God! How gracious is His heart! How compassionate are His dealings! How merciful is He toward us! Thank God for the thousands of times that He has answered in response to prayer. Thank God for those times when His great heart becomes a bit impatient because He longs to see us receive that for which we are going to ask, and knowing that we will ask, He rushes it to us in advance!
Oh, I know that Isaiah 65:24 is a millennial promise. "And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." During the millennium it will be the usual way that God cares for us, but occasionally God likes to bring a little of the millennium to us early. Me thinks that His nature now is the same that His nature will be in the kingdom, so when He finds a Christian who can live anywhere near a kingdom life, perhaps He will prematurely give to that Christian a kingdom promise!
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